If you have been doing social media marketing long enough, you will notice that digital marketing evolves – and continues to do so. One thing that is notable is that there are B2B companies that are winning it, and there are those that aren’t.
Of the B2B companies that are winning it, these are the ones that have a well-documented strategy including social media (see objection #2). And having clear social media KPI metrics is part of that.
This article on measuring social media strategy has the following key sections:
My Road Trip Analogy
I would compare gauging the success of your social media marketing plan to a road trip.
Who does not want to have a relaxing road trip as the goal?
Often when traveling, where we go is in correlation to how much money we have, and how much we are willing to spend. Also, time is a determinant of whether it is a stay-cation or a long haul overseas.
Then after the fact, we, try to gauge our overall satisfaction about the trip.
Can you measure how relaxed you are?
Of course not!
The Truth About Social Media Metrics
Your social media marketing strategy is much easier to measure than THAT (road trip satisfaction).
NOT everything is measurable in social media, but there are social media metrics that you can use to connect what you are doing to your business goal/s.
Thus, just because your business cannot measure EVERYTHING does not mean that you should just put measuring on the back burner.
Aside from the fact that it is easy to measure social media efforts, there are many tools nowadays that offer insights about your social media efforts. Some of these are free, and some are not.
Besides, it is FUN tracking data.
Why measure your social media marketing strategy
It’s the benefits.
We like to do something with benefits, right?
Here are some benefits of measuring what you are doing in social media:
To be able to be effective at what you are measuring, it is essential that you have your social media goal figured out FIRST.
What is Your Social Media Goal
A social media goal answers this question: ” Why are you using social media?”
I see businesses get bogged down by figuring out what social media platform to use. Remember social media is just a tool. The pot does not decide what you are cooking; know what you are going to cook first. The tool shows up in the latter part of your decision-making process, not in the beginning.
Here are ten ways that businesses (we know) use social media:
Do you have the goal figured out? Great!
Write it down and remind yourself and your team about it – OFTEN.
Why? So we remember not to chase the unicorn. 😀
Determining what outcome you want from social media can help the next step which is determining the social media KPI metrics you may need to measure.
Social Media Metrics, the KPIs
For small businesses, identifying a KPI is a simple process.
For big companies though, this can be a complicated process, sales people have different KPIs; so does marketing, or customer service, and your CEO who holds the checkbook.
What is essential here is that you have metrics that you all agree that you will use as the yardstick to measure your success in social media.
I am telling you now there is a plethora of metrics that you can track.
What is a KPI? It stands for key performance indicator. It is as plain as that. It is a metric that is, ideally, pre-determined by you and your team that will help all of you decide later if your social media efforts contribute to accomplishing your business goal.
Some call it the success metric. I like calling it “your happy metric.”
Matching your Business Goal to Your Social Media Marketing KPI
It is not that difficult to identify KPIs for each goal, IMHO. The challenging part is determining which ones your team would be happy to use as your KPI because there are way too many metrics.
Why not measure MORE social media KPI metrics?
Often the more the KPIs, the more social media tactics [read: work] you may need to do!
Soooooo, got MORE time – and MORE money? Go for it.
Note, by the way, that some of these social media KPIs in each goal/category below could overlap, so it is essential that you have this defined and written, so you and your team are all on the same page.
Here are the examples:
Goal: Improve Brand Awareness
Goal: Increase Engagement
Goal: Increase Leads
Goal: Customer Service and Satisfaction
Goal: Grow Sales
The key? Identify the ones that are critical to your organization’s mission.
Say you have already identified your goal and your metrics, what’s next?
When the business goal and KPIs are clear, that will help you understand why you post the way you do, why you need to engage with this or that company, and why “post YYZ is better than posting ABC.” Those are tactics.
A social-media-KPIs-metrics-printable version is available in PDF if you want a copy. (No email-gate, promise!). 😀
Your KPIs contribute in determining the tactics to implement and assess, and also the tools you need.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road: The How-To Example
Your social media tactics evolve out of your goals, not the channels. It starts at the heart of your business. It starts BEFORE you jump in the social media stream and join the conversation.
Here’s a basic example of how to identify and measure your social media efforts:
Goal: Grow Ticket Sales
Tools: Free Social Media Metrics Tools
Adjust/refine tactics. Not. The. Goal!
The Immeasurable Must-Haves When Analyzing Social Media Data
The Social Media Success, and Failure
Social media platform is just ANOTHER tool. Just like the phone, the computer, the chair, and other tools around you. And yeah, also, just like THAT pot of plant in the office that can help with productivity (I read THAT elsewhere).
If (insert a social media platform here) does not work, it is not that social platform’s fault.
The onus to figure out if you are winning or losing social media with your efforts is on you, the social media strategist. Social media works!
Simply collecting data without applying common sense information, and without taking action are efforts in futility. Harness the social media metrics that you track for your growth and success.